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Labour manifesto leaked: mass nationalisations, wage caps and a Brexit deal at any cost

‘Jeremy Corbyn will take Britain back to the 1970s by nationalising industries, forcing wage caps on businesses and giving huge power to the unions if he gets into power, a leaked copy of Labour’s draft manifesto reveals. The 43-page document, obtained by the Daily Telegraph, shows that Mr Corbyn plans to nationalise energy, rail and mail and will introduce a 20:1 pay cap for businesses. The manifesto says Mr Corbyn is committed to achieving a “nuclear free world” and is “extremely cautious” about using Britain’s nuclear deterrent. The Labour leader will only send the armed forces into combat if “all other options have been exhausted”, the copy of the manifesto states. It also says that Labour will rule out a “no deal” Brexit and refuse to set a migration target, in a move that is likely to drive away its traditional supporters who voted Leave in the EU referendum.’ – Daily Telegraph

Editorials

>Today: ToryDiary: A great swathe of Labour’s core vote will loathe the party’s Brexit and migration plans. Now Crosby must make them known.

May pledges to continue raising defence spending above inflation and the NATO target

‘Theresa May has pledged she will continue to hit the Nato two per cent defence spending target if re-elected, as her Government came under fire from military figures for fiddling budget plans. The Prime Minister said she would also raise the defence budget by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation each year of the new Parliament if elected on June 8. Her promise effectively extends the Tory vow made soon after the 2015 election, but is the first time it has been written into the party’s manifesto.’ – Daily Telegraph

The Prime Minister accuses her opponent of hiding from voters and destroying trust

‘Theresa May launched her most blistering attack on Jeremy Corbyn yet as she blasted him for being London-centric and accusing him of betraying voters on Brexit. She batted away claims she is dodging real voters in the election campaign and taking aim aim at her hard-left Labour rival, she said: “I think I’m right in saying a significant number of Mr Corbyn’s visits have actually been within 25 miles of Islington.” The PM – speaking to workers in a printing factory in Mansfield – said she had been “across the country” and had met people “in a whole variety of situations”. In an extraordinary rebuke she said his repeated refusal earlier this week to rule out keeping Britain in the EU if he became PM “destroys trust in politicians”. She said it was “important to deliver” on Brexit and promised voters: “That focus will actually help build trust in politicians”.’ – The Sun

  • The majority of voters agree with May that the EU is trying to influence the election – The Sun
  • Barclays says there is no Brexit need to shift jobs abroad – The Sun
  • Let’s hear the new deal for farming – The Times Leader (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: No, this is not “the most controlled election campaign ever”. But it is, perhaps, the most dull.

Reports of tensions on Downing Street

‘Philip Hammond infuriated senior Downing Street aides by effectively committing the prime minister to ditching a promise not to raise VAT, tax or national insurance days after she called the election and before the policy had been settled, The Times has learnt. Yesterday, both sides denied reports that Mr Hammond had initially opposed Mrs May’s promise to cap energy bills for 17 million households as they sought to present a united front before the launch next week of the Conservative manifesto. However, the relationship between the chancellor and No 10 — in particular Nick Timothy, one of Mrs May’s chiefs of staff — is understood to have become increasingly strained. The unravelling of the March budget over a broken promise not to raise national insurance triggered mutual recriminations between Downing Street and the Treasury. Mr Timothy, 37, was said to be “incandescent” at briefings, blamed on Mr Hammond’s aides, that he was economically illiterate.’ – The Times (£)

Conservatives condemn ‘witch hunt’ as the CPS decides not to bring election charges against MPs

‘The Conservatives have criticised the Electoral Commission and Channel 4 after the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to bring criminal charges against 20 former MPs over their 2015 campaign expenses. The CPS said that spending returns submitted by some of the party’s candidates and officials may have been inaccurate but there was insufficient evidence to prove they were knowingly dishonest. The case revolved around whether spending on Tory activists’ battle buses should have been counted against national or local spending limits, with Conservative campaign headquarters (CCHQ) taking responsibility for guidance saying that it should be regarded as national spending. The Conservatives hailed the decision, which Theresa May said confirmed that expense returns were “properly reported and properly declared” and that “candidates did nothing wrong”.’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Election expenses hashtag crusaders should have studied the facts before trying to trash MPs’ reputations

Heath: A Tory victory will be bittersweet for free marketeers

‘There will be no free-market revolution and no big tax cuts. It is the glaring hole, the fundamental reason why Mayism isn’t a rebirth of Thatcherism, the one big defeat that won’t be reversed. The Tories will undoubtedly have a 100-plus majority, but they won’t be using it to rethink the relationship between public and private spheres. The soft Left has lost, but it has also won. Next month’s celebrations will be bitter-sweet for one segment of Mrs May’s coalition: those of us who believe in private enterprise, competition and the freedom for families to live their own lives. We can still cling to the hope, for another few days, that next week’s manifesto may yet contain a piece of surprisingly red meat that the libertarian Right could warm to. But that looks unlikely.’ – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Dan Poulter on Comment: Let’s back the energy price cap and squeeze the fat cats

Farron says he is ‘relaxed’ about tactical voting pacts

‘Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has said he is ‘relaxed’ about making electoral pacts to keep out the Conservatives – despite insisting he will not form a coalition. He said it was ‘up to local parties’ to make tactical decisions after the Lib Dems stood aside in Brighton Pavilion for Green party co-leader Caroline Lucas. But the Tories warned that his words paved the way for a ‘coalition of chaos’ – and said that a vote for the Lib Dems would be a vote for Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn.’ – Daily Mail

Corbyn drafts in…Gordon Brown

‘Desperate Jeremy Corbyn last night turned to Gordon Brown to dig him out of a huge hole on Brexit – as his own MPs branded him a laughing stock. The former Labour PM will wade into the Election campaign on Thursday with a passionate rallying cry to voters – slamming Theresa May over Brexit in a visit to an engineering academy. The move – with four weeks to go until polling day – threatens to force Mr Brown to issue a ringing endorsement for the Labour leader he criticised for being “anti this and anti that” two years ago.’ – The Sun

  • Labour wheels out Eddie Izzard, too – The Sun
  • And Alistair Darling – The Scotsman
  • The Shadow Education Secretary gets her class size numbers in a muddle – Daily Mail
  • Former donors want Blair to help MPs break away after the election – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn’s minders block veteran from asking a question – Daily Mail
  • He doesn’t want to use his battle bus because it isn’t green – The Sun
  • Chomsky says Momentum is Labour’s future – The Guardian

>Today: Daniel Hannan’s column: Corbyn is the ultimate selfish gene, content to kill off Labour for his own benefit

Comey’s farewell letter to the FBI

‘Fired FBI Director James Comey’s goodbye letter to staff has been revealed – and in it he said Donald Trump was within his rights to fire him while refusing to comment on how his sacking was ‘executed’ by the president. Comey adopted a diplomatic tone in his letter that emerged on Wednesday night. ‘I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all,’ the farewell note began. ‘I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won’t either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief

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